Real Sociedad 0-0 Manchester United: Fellaini sees red and Van Persie misses penalty as United are held

Mike Hewitt

In a game that managed to be both dull and eventful, Robin van Persie missed a penalty, Javier Hernandez missed a sitter, and Marouane Fellaini got sent off as Manchester United dominated Real Soceidad but failed to find a breakthrough.

Manchester United dominated their game against Real Sociedad, but couldn't find a breakthrough as Marouane Fellaini was sent off late on and Robin van Persie missed a penalty.

David Moyes selected a midfield of Marouane Fellaini and Ryan Giggs, and although the former was largely poor and the latter failed to replicate his excellent performance in the home leg, United immediately ook control of possession, albeit without creating many chances. Shinji Kagawa's long-range effort was about the closest both sides came in a rather dull opening period.

Javier Hernandez had a decent chance to open the scoreline from Kagawa's centre, but was beaten to it by Inigo Martinez, as the first half drew to a rather disappointing end. The second, however, was to be much more eventful. Ruben Pardo went close immediately with a long-range effort that dipped just wide, before Hernandez was teed up for a simple finish from six yards following more good work from Shinji Kagawa, but somehow contrived to sky it over the bar.

David Moyes reacted by introducing Robin van Persie and Ashley Young at the expense of Javier Hernandez and Wayne Rooney, and the two immediately combined as Young teed up Van Persie for a decent opening, but the Dutchman could only smash his effort against the post.

The two combined in another fashion shortly afterwards as Young enhanced his glowing reputation by going down under virtually no contact in the Sociedad penalty area to con a penalty out of the referee. Van Persie stepped up, but smashed it against the post as United threw away another opportunity to get a goal.

Sociedad almost struck thereafter, with Xabi Prieto firing in a shot which deflected off Carlos Vela over the bar as the game became increasingly frantic. Antonio Valencia was the next to try his luck at the other end, but his goalbound cross-cum-shot was cleared away by Martinez.

United's hopes of pressing for a winner were dashed late on by the disappointing Fellaini picking up a second yellow card for a clumsy challenge, with Phil Jones replacing Shinji Kagawa to see the goalless draw out. Interestingly, yet again in Michael Carrick's absence we controlled a game, although the lack of Adnan Januzaj and Rafael, and Robin van Persie only coming on later once Rooney and Hernandez had departed, meant that our attacking play wasn't quite quick enough. There is some promise ahead of the game against Arsenal with a full set of players, but this match was highly forgettable.

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